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October 21, 2006




Fear is now an emotional campaign tactic used by the desperate when they have nothing else to offer and they know that the general audience members have received filtered information. There are plenty of historical references that could be inserted here( The Manipulation of Fear,N.Chomsky). The problem stems from both Democrats and Republicans because neither is capable of talking about the issue that matters, "our" foreign policies (2004 Elections or The Disconnect in US Democracy, N.Chomksy). The reason that neither is capable of talking about "our" foreign policies is that each is so consumed with smearing one another and "voter demographics". The foreign policies used to "protect our interest" abroad which seem to be policies leaving never ending trails of collateral damage are directly/indirectly responsible for most of the U.S.'s terrorism problems(Bin Laden). The problem with U.S. foreign policy is that instead of evolving with the changing world, the policies change with the next administration but do not evolve. For example instead of the U.S. foreign policy of rushing into Africa to plant roots for corporations and militarism, how about actually sending some of our resources to help the "underdeveloped" countries develop an education system or clean running water systems. I guess there justisn't enough short term profits to be made from that though I have heard people remark we are a society of "instant gratification" so maybe that is why the U.S. government does not offer a flexible long term policy for Africa. The interesting part of the fear campaign is that if this was a reversed situation, it would be condemned in a heartbeat. For example a politician that was of a different ethnic group using the slogan "Remember Timothy Mcveigh" in regards to terrorism. It would be interesting to see how quick the public would see through that sound bite.

Anyhow back to the second question posed, in order to counteract the message of fear perhaps the best approach would be with its opposite, desire. Again the dichotomic paradigm of "fear or desire", "reward or punishment", "pain or pleasure" or however best framed for the situation. This may go back to the post on Tantek's Thougts about Deprive, Refute and Replace bad ideas. Fear is bad idea, it needs to be deprived because if it is allowed to continue it perpetuates ignorance (easterners are bad) and jeopardizes any lives involved (Iraq civilians, US soldiers). Though with all the depriving necessary it is equally important to intelligently refute the current policies, keyword intelligently. The actual debate must always remain civil because if it is reduced to name calling then it detracts from the actual issue, frustrates the voters and divides the general public. Unless of course that is the goal all along (with us or against us)? Most of all, develop ideas to replace the old ones. Ideas that do not come specifically from the inner circle but ideas that come from across the board. Think outside the box, right? Mr. Albert Einstein once said "The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them."

Jon Strande


Wow. Just fantastic!!! I couldn't agree more!! I love the fear / desire continuum, just great.

Thank you for the well thought out comment!


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